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Biobased Technologies and the Valley of Death

Watch the discussion biobased technologies and how to get them trough the Valley of Death.

In the discussion panel are  (Paques Biomaterials), Marco Rupp (Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) and Errit Bekkering (Chemport Europe). During the broadcast, we discussed:

  • The biggest scale-up challenges
  • How to resolve obstacles
  • How to manage the milestones of technological development with expectations of your investors
  • The start-up and scale-up perspective in Europe
  • The financial instruments in Europe to solve the lack of financial resources
  • What are open issues that need to be addressed, e.g. on European level

The discussion followed the development of the PHA technology of Paques Biomaterials as a case study. This technology uses naturally occuring micro-organisms to create PHA from organic residual flows.

What is PHA

PHA is short for polyhydroxyalkanoate, and said to be the next generation plastics. It is a class of natural (so not synthetic) polyesters that are derived from bacterial fermentation. Basically, microorganisms synthesize polyesters in nutrient-deficient conditions, and these PHAs can then be harvested.

PHAs are both:

  • bio-based : so derived from an organic, usually plant-based, source) and
  • biodegradable: so naturally occurring micoorganisms will break it down under suitable conditions and within a relavively short period of time

Paques Biomaterials

This startup is working hard on developing and realising a demo plant in Emmen (in collaboration with regional and local government) to further enhance their technique on turning industrial waste water into the bioplastic PHA. Parallel to this, they are planning ahead and after the demo plant they want to build a 10 kilotons per year commercial plant that will be up and running by the start of 2024.

Meet Joost Pâques

Joost has been co-owner and managing director of Paques Biomaterials since 2021. He is also a member of the Supervisory Board of Paques as well as responsible for external relations at Paques and a board member at a number of organizations such as Envaqua, NWP and BEstart.

Meet Marco Rupp

Marco manages public affairs and sustainability at the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC). The Europea Union is setting up new sustainable financing rules (EU Taxonomy) as part of its ‘Action plan on financing sustainable growth’. So, the EU is out to fund only activities that will have a positive impact on the climate and the environment. In this framework, BIC has commissioned a project to update its members on the working of the EU Taxonomy and how it relates to the bio-based sectors. Marco coordinates this project.

Meet Errit Bekkering

Errit is business developer at Chemport Europe, and fully dedicated to the transformation and green growth of the Chemical industry in the Northern Netherlands.

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